Alastair Crompton was diagnosed as a child with virus schizophrenia, and treated by having his alternate selves removed into artificial bodies (with an projected life span of approximately 40 years) and sent off to grow up as separate individuals. Now at 35, bored to death with his inhibited, proper personality, he wants to reunite with his other selves to integrate as a whole human being at last, risking mental imbalance and psychic takeover in this interplanetary quest.
Appropriately, this work has had four distinct incarnations. It began life as the novelette "Join Now" in the December 1958 issue of Galaxy, by "Finn O'Donnevan", collected as "The Humours" under Sheckley's own name in Store of Infinity in 1960. Expanded into novel form, it was published in the United States as Crompton Divided, with a rather sombre hardback jacket, and in the U.K. with a livelier title and cover as The Alchemical Marriage of Alastair Crompton.
Original title: Crompton Divided
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ Species Evolution→ Bioengineering